At the standing-room-only meeting of the Outer Mission Merchants and Residents Association in February, community members voiced their concerns about a proposed medical cannabis dispensary opening in the neighborhood.
Tikisha Ong gave a 45-minute presentation about her plan to open Green Gods Compassion on the 100 block of Sickles Avenue. All proposed MCDs must hold public meetings to notify neighbors about their intentions in order to acquire conditional use permits from City Hall.
Green Gods Compassion is applying to become the fourth MCD to operate in the neighborhood where community groups’ opposition blocked Sparc from opening a second location in the neighborhood last year. The Planning Commission denied Sparc its application to open despite the company having the support of District 11 Supervisor John Avalos and a successful location in the South of Market after receiving many letters and testimony in opposition from neighbors.
Ong said that her business would be markedly different than the existing MCDs. She would participate in the gun buyback program; hire locals; focus sales on seniors and people with disabilities. For security, there would be eleven cameras and two guards. There would be no tolerance of any customers who double park, litter or smoke near the premises.
Ong, who is in her thirties, said she has been in MCD business her entire life and knew the importance of medical cannabis based on her grandparents’ use when battling cancer. If she were granted permission to open, Green Gods Compassion would be the first MCD in San Francisco owned and operated by a woman of color.
Ong said she would like to help the neighborhood by occupying a long-vacant storefront. She would like to personally move into the neighborhood if possible, too.
OMMRA President Joelle Kenealey said she was concerned that given the MCD’s proximity to the county border, Green Gods Compassion would be serving residents of San Mateo County, which does not permit the sale of cannabis. Other neighbors expressed concern over the smell of cannabis in the neighborhood.
At the January meeting of the District 11 Council, Supervisor Avalos said he was opposed to a fourth MCD opening in the neighborhood.
“I’m opposed to new MCD on 100 Sickles. I’ve heard pretty loud and clear from members of the community and the Planning Commission,” Avalos said. “I think the last one”—Sparc—“I wasn’t opposed to. I didn’t see it as a horrible thing for the neighborhood, especially compared to the existing ones. It would’ve probably have put one of those out.”
OMMRA is petitioning Mayor Ed Lee and members of the Planning Commission via change.org to oppose Green God’s Compassion. As of March 12, there were 210 supporters.
Ong has tentatively scheduled a comprehensive community meeting for Saturday, March 19. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: This article first appeared in the Ingleside-Excelsior Light’s March edition. It has been updated.